Perfect date night chilli

A good chilli is bit of a labour of love but if you put the time and effort in you can come up with something mouth wateringly tasty. It’s a bit of a crowd pleaser too but to please a crowd you need a cracking little recipe up your sleeve. This one has taken me a wee while to perfect and is ingredient heavy but it’s really bloody tasty, even if I do say so myself. So if you’re still searching around for a recipe you can have this one – I’m nice like that. 
Chilli is the worst model. Ever. But it tastes so good you won’t care too much. 
So good in fact that I cranked it out for date night along with a good bottle of red and a bit of Cloud Atlas (I still have absolutely no idea what that film was about but I know that I think I liked it). 
First things first, make a cuppa. It’ll keep you going whilst you chop. 
You’ll need: 
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, diced
2 red chillis, dice and remove seeds. If you’re not making it for date night and you like it hot whack the seeds in there. You only live once. 
2 to 3 peppers chopped
Small handful of fresh coriander, remove stalks and chop (for serving) 
1 tsp ground corriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 beef stock cubes
300g minced beef 
1 tin of baked beans
1 tin of kidney beans
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 good squidge of ketchup
1 1/2 tsp tomato puree (this one was double concentrate so double it if you’re using normal strength)
1 small glass of red wine
300ml cold water
3 squares good quality dark chocolate 
Prep and chop all of your veggies. This is the most time consuming bit. Once it’s all ready to go it’s a case of chucking it in bit by bit and letting it bubble away. If you want to, you can do all your chopping well before you need it and put each bit into little bowls so that when it comes to the cooking you can just toss bits in and feel all cheffy. You know you want to. 
Heat a glug of oil in a big pan and gently fry the onion and chilli for a couple of minutes. Throw in the ground spices and let it fry away gently to release the flavour from the spices. Be careful not to burn it, you’ll be able to smell if it starts to go, leap in and rescue it. 

I love Barts Spices – my mind was pretty blown by the double opening lid. One side for a sprinkle, the other to stick your spoon right in there. Simple things please simple minds. 



Add the peppers to the pan and fry for a few more minutes to soften. 


Throw in the mince and brown off. Keep stiring to coat the meat with the spices. 
When the mince is cooked, add the beans and tomatoes and mix it all together. 
Add the water and crumble in the stock cubes. 

Squidge in the ketchup and stir in the tomato puree and wine. I always use a wine that I wouldn’t mind drinking, I think it definitely makes a difference to the flavour and you get you have a little glass along the way. Go on, I won’t tell.   


Season well and let the whole pot of loveliness bubble away for an hour or so to let the flavours get well acquainted. 


About five minutes before serving throw in the chocolate and fresh coriander. 


Serve up with some rice, a dollop of sour cream and the rest of the wine of course. 

This is great for freezing and tends to taste better the longer it’s left so the leftovers make a great mid week meal. We polished ours off with some baked potatoes and half a bag of tortilla chips *cough* husband *cough*! 

If you’re on a January health kick make sure your mince is lean and serve it up with some low fat creme fraiche and brown rice. It’ll keep you going for hours. And if you like your chilli to be less chilli-ish you could reduce the spices by about 1/3 and just use one red chilli. 

Got a better chilli recipe? Let me know. Got any understanding of the plot of Cloud Atlas? Let me know that too! 
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